BMW races to production of i4 with M-Performance Model in 2021 Posted on 12/03/2021

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BMW confirms an M-division electric performance model of the 'i4' automobile is slated to be unveiled this year, bringing a more responsive driving experience to the M line-up. Markus Flasch, M segment CEO, is looking forward to, “presenting an electrically powered performance automobile for the first time”. The implications for the new car's acceleration abilities are significant, and are rumoured to bring race track performance to the roads in a more sustainable manner. Similarly named i4, our team are certainly looking forward to seeing this production model in the flesh.

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BMW's 'i4 Concept' takes a look ahead to the 'i4' production vehicle, slated to enter production in 2021 as the manufacturer's first all-electric model in the premium midsize class. It blends a modern, sporty design with the spaciousness and functionality of a four-door gran coupe – while generating zero emissions. As part of its design, the electric concept features many exterior and interior design elements that will appear in both the 'i4' and other electrically-powered production vehicles from the German company.

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The concept car's gran coupe proportions create an authentic, modern and confident appearance. The long wheelbase, fastback roofline and short overhangs form a basic profile brimming with elegance and dynamism. With its four doors, the 'i4' offers everyday usability and practicality, plus a larger interior than its modern proportions would immediately suggest.

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Stepping into the interior, a curved display encompasses a large proportion of the section in front of the driver and above the centre stack. Almost all operating functions are integrated into the display as part of an approach centred on reducing the number of haptic controls to the minimum, even including the climate control. 

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Three different experience modes enable drivers to explore the various facets of the electric system and the next-generation operating system from 2021. The visual differentiation between the three Experience Modes, 'Core', 'Sport' and 'Efficient', changes how the user experiences the display and graphics, and how the interior is presented. Ambient lighting in the dashboard, doors and below the display indicate the technical adjustments taking place.

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From the exterior to the interior design, the 'i4' is vastly different from BMW's 'VISION Next 100' concept. Back in 2016 the German automaker released its innovative concept vehicle that was highlighted with a head-up display on the dashboard. Ceres Holographics sparked a lot of interest at CES 2020 when it showcased similar technology for advanced display applications on the Texas Instruments stand. The i4pd team were challenged to create a convincing automotive dashboard unit to accommodate the smart holographic windshield and TI's Digital Light Processing, micro-display technology.

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